in Technology

SITA exploring potential of blockchain technology

Posted 25 May 2016 · Add Comment

Travel technology provider SITA is exploring the potential of blockchain technology to provide travellers with a secure single token to travel through airports and across borders.

The technology provides the opportunity to allow secure biometric authentication of passengers throughout the journey across borders. This could eliminate the need for multiple travel documents without passengers having to share their personal data.

SITA’s technology research team, SITA Lab, is researching how using virtual or digital passports in the form of a single secure token on mobile and wearable devices could reduce complexity, cost and liability around document checks during the passenger journey.

Jim Peters, CTO, SITA, said: “Our vision is for seamless secure travel. To date, technology has provided SITA the opportunity to do that at many airports and at more than 30 of the world’s borders.  But the underlying design of today’s computer systems means that there are multiple exchanges of data between various agencies and multiple verification steps, which reduces the ability to have a single global system.

“Now blockchain technology offers us the potential to provide a new way of using biometrics. It could enable biometrics to be used across borders, and at all airports, without the passenger’s details being stored by the various authorities.”

SITA’s innovative research imagines passengers creating a verifiable ‘token’ on their mobile phone which contains biometric and other personal data. In this vision of future travel, no matter where in the world you go any authority can simply scan your face and scan your device to verify you are an authorized traveler. This can be done without all these agencies ever controlling or storing your biometric details.

Armin Ebrahimi, founder and CEO of ShoCard said: “ShoCard sees a digital revolution when it comes to people providing their verifiable identity information to third parties. Today we are showing how our identity platform, built using the blockchain, combined with SITA’s unique air transport and border management solutions could improve traveler experience while ensuring security.”

Peters continued: “Blockchain offers a revolutionary approach to computer applications. It fundamentally changes the way we design systems because we can now create decentralized, global, tamper-proof, distributed databases. It is very early days yet and the issues of scalability and adoption rates need to be examined. But what our SITA Lab team is looking at today is how we in the air travel industry – airlines, airports and government agencies - can take advantage of the new era where the underlying blockchain protocols provide trust so that individuals or authorities don’t have to.”

SITA’s researchers are investigating a versatile and secure system to make the single travel token work globally, across all borders. Blockchain technology allows ‘privacy by design’ so that passenger data can be secure, encrypted, tamper-proof and unusable for any other purpose. At the same time, it eliminates the need for a single authority to own, process or store the data.  The crypto-led computer science of blockchain provides a network of trust, where the source and history of the data is verifiable by everyone.

Peters continued: “Blockchain offers a revolutionary approach to computer applications. It fundamentally changes the way we design systems because we can now create decentralized, global, tamper-proof, distributed databases. It is very early days yet and the issues of scalability and adoption rates need to be examined. But what our SITA Lab team is looking at today is how we in the air travel industry – airlines, airports and government agencies - can take advantage of the new era where the underlying blockchain protocols provide trust so that individuals or authorities don’t have to.”

SITA’s researchers are investigating a versatile and secure system to make the single travel token work globally, across all borders. Blockchain technology allows ‘privacy by design’ so that passenger data can be secure, encrypted, tamper-proof and unusable for any other purpose. At the same time, it eliminates the need for a single authority to own, process or store the data.  The crypto-led computer science of blockchain provides a network of trust, where the source and history of the data is verifiable by everyone.

Peters added: “This is a whole new way of working but ultimately ‘The Blockchain’ is simply a database where transactions are recorded and confirmed anonymously. Whether it is used for currency or travel it is simply a record of events that is shared between multiple parties but most importantly once information is entered, it cannot be changed, and privacy and security are by design.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Congo Airways poised to go up, up and away…

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national carrier Congo Airways is progressing with its expansion plans and is seeking an equity investor, despite hitting challenges with its regional expansion. Victoria Moores reports.

ZAF looks east for modernisation programme

The Zambian Air Force (ZAF) is negotiating with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) for the possible acquisition of more advanced fighter and trainer jets, helicopters and heavy-lift transport aircraft, as it forges

Helicopter woes for MINUSMA

A little-known UN mission in Mali celebrates its fourth anniversary this month. Since the deployment began, the multidimensional integrated stabilisation mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been working to help stabilise the situation

First Air Mauritius A350 takes shape in Airbus' Final Assembly line

Assembly of the first A350 XWB for Air Mauritius is advancing well at Airbus' Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France.

Bestfly retains ISBAO status

At EBACE this week, Angola-based aviation services company Bestfly announced that it has received confirmation it has retained its ISBAO (International Standard for Business Aviation Operators) status for the second year in a row.

New airline will boost Senegal's economy

Boosting Senegalese commercial air transport and tourism were the prime agenda items at a recent Paris conference.

Honneywell ADS-BSK310517
See us at
Aviation Festival BT25114617GroundHandling BT0303280917